Will Freddy return to Newcastle United?

Posted on June 29th, 2009 | 12 Comments |

Could it be a nightmare?
Could it be a nightmare?
According to yesterday’s Sunday Mirror (don’t snigger), Ashley will receive two bids for the club this week. Apparently Freddy Krueger Shepherd is one of the bidders and the other is believed to have Geordie roots but overseas finance.

The Mirror reports that neither bid is for the £100m Ashley wants but will be somewhere around the £80-90m mark. Apparently due diligence has already been performed and the deal could be finalised within a few weeks.

There may be some truth in this but the Mirror’s report looks a bit suspicious. There were no direct quotes and there weren’t even any ‘sources close to the club’ or ‘insiders’ mentioned in the report. It has all the look of an inventive guess by a bored journalist.

Nevertheless it’s raising the frightening prospect of Freddy Shepherd taking over the club again, which is a fairly depressing thought. We’re stuck between a rock and hard place: is it better to carry on ownerless or is it better to have Freddy Shepherd take over? That’s like someone saying you must lose either an arm or a leg but you can choose which. Neither prospect is appealing and I hope a third option emerges as the eventual solution.

Anyway, The Mirror’s report goes on to point out that Freddy Shepherd has already stated he will be appointing Alan Shearer as manager if he becomes the club’s new owner. I’d be interested to know what Alan thinks of the idea of working for Freddy Shepherd – he’ll have had plenty of experience working under the Shepherd regime as a player and he even did a brief spell of co-management with Glen Roeder. If Shepherd does get the club and Shearer agrees to work for him I won’t know whether to be disappointed in him for doing so or glad that he’s there to try and influence the way things go – probably both.

I had previously doubted Shepherd’s ability to raise the necessary finance but he keeps getting mentioned in connection with this and I feel I should start preparing myself in case it happens, so I’ll renew all my prescription medications and line up a few stiff drinks.

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen I'm a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called 'scrumpy'. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he's not worth 10). Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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12 Responses

  1. Hugh it would certainly be the stuff of a lot of peoples nightmares. After everything that happened during his tenure I can’t believe that some fans would still welcome him back. Lets hope someone outbids him. I know Ashley probably doesn’t care and just wants rid of the club, but can’t imagine if he had a choice that he would choose to sell to the scrapman… maybe wishful thinking on my part.

  2. I want FFS back as much as I want Ashley to stay! However someone at the helm is better than no one.

  3. Agree Joseph. We were on a one way trajectory before under his stewardship and it wasn’t towards Europe

  4. To be honest Deb, I’ve been refusing to believe Shepherd could possibly come back until now.

    I’m not sure how much choice Ashley has in who gets the club. I have read he doesn’t know who the bidders are so I’m not sure exactly how it works. Maybe Harris just tells him the bid amount and any conditions and he just says yes or no.

  5. Micky
    Lets hope it’s all resolved this week, and we get what most of us are wishing for and that doesn’t include Fat Fred

  6. I don’t like Sheperd but like MT says, somebody is better than nobody. As the old saying goes “better the devil you know”. We’d at least know if Fred was up to his old tricks or if he’d learned from some of his mistakes and misdemeanours. Or alternatively, he wasn’t given licence to deploy his old strategies.l And if we weren’t happy we could always get our bedsheets out again! ;-)

    Given a choice though, yes it would be be a bit of a nightmare.
    Worse than this one though? Right at this minute, hard to say to be honest. That’s as much as you need to know about Ashley’s tenure.

  7. Hugh

    ‘I’m not sure how much choice Ashley has in who gets the club. I have read he doesn’t know who the bidders are so I’m not sure exactly how it works. Maybe Harris just tells him the bid amount and any conditions and he just says yes or no.’

    Yes I was wondering the same thing. It seems strange that he wouldn’t know who the bidders are, unless that is all part of the confidentiality agreement so someone at Ashley’s end can’t disclose anything during the bidding process. I would hope someone is going to weigh up the pros and cons of the overall bids to figure out what is best for the long term future of the club and not just accept the highest bid, however again probably wishful thinking. Just wish the whole thing was over with.

  8. Unfortunately, I’m not convinced the ‘long-term future of the club’ will be considered.

    When Ashley was trying to do the deal himself last year then he would probably be in a position to consider such things (if he wanted to), but I’m not sure in this case.

    I can see why he may have no choice. Harris has a reputation to keep and if he lines up a buyer who offers what Ashley wants and they go through a lengthy diligence process, I can’t imagine it would go down well if Ashley simply refuses to sell because he’s not keen on the buyer.

  9. Could be right Hugh. I guess if there are a choice of buyers, how much influence does Ashley have in the final decision?

  10. It stops there being a preferred buyer. If Ashley doesn’t know who the bidders are then he can’t be accused of bias should one of the unsuccessful bidders complain.